View Poll Results: Rescue certs or not?
rescue 3 3 15.79%
ACA 9 47.37%
other 5 26.32%
just like to watch and take video 2 10.53%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-05-2007   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 27
Rescue for Class V Boaters

Just curious, how many of you class V boaters have taken swiftwater rescue courses from ACA or rescue 3. I ask because i am curious to know if everyone has gone through these standards or if people just rely on their buddies' abilities and knowledge, etc and what you guys think needs improvement and what worked. I have taken quite a few myself (both rq3 and aca) and wanted to know what other people were doing.
Any feedback would be killer


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Old 01-06-2007   #2
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
i should take a class, and i know it, im gonna paddle more class V this season, im stil lnot convinced that ive run -real class V- but ive been on some such rated runs, more class V for the distance from help than for the difficulty/consequence of the rapids, and ive relied on general ingenuity for safety (having a sub standard but better than nothing pin kit). i should take a rescue class next year, its so expensive, i want to take the class from someone who i think really deserves the money and im looking forward to some fresh methodology on rescue, same with aca, i dont expect to learn that much, its so expensive, i want to take the class from someone who is a real -old- school paddler.

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Old 01-06-2007   #3
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
I have taken both as well.

Generally a rescue class is useful since you will probably learn or practice something you haven't before. Its hard to gather up your posse to practice unless you are in a 'real' situation and thats not good.

videos don't hurt either. i like to show whitewater self defense swim chapter to upper animas clients - that way they hear it from me and they see it in a video and its not just my opinion - its industry standard so to speak (cover your ass).

one more thing. the most valuable training i got was in 'real' situations - but its best to work up to that.
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Old 01-06-2007   #4
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 847
Send a message via MSN to hobie

Although it is not a full two day class, Dagger kayaks will be offering a few FREE one day introduction to swiftwater classes across the country this summer. Everyone that paddles should take a course on safety. The idea of our one day Dagger Safety Initiative or D.S.I is to teach basic river safety, use of a throw bad, and a simple Z Drag set up. We also encourage people all day to take a two day course and make them realize how much there is to know. We know this course is not the answer but rather a wake up call to the dangers. Our hope is to get more whitewater users to get eductaed and hopefully get them to maintain their safety knowledge.
I will post the dates as I have them secured. We did the course this fall in Vail and it was a huge hit. Stay tuned to for details.

Dagger Kayaks
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Old 01-06-2007   #5
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Hobie, are you set on one location/day for that?
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 01-06-2007   #6
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 847
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Not yet. There will be two east coast, two west coast, two no coast. One will be here in vail during the Teva Games. Not sure of the other.

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Old 01-06-2007   #7
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
I'll give a plug to Mike Mathers. I have NOT taken a course from him, but my friends who have say GREAT things.

I took a good course a few years back from CKS. Thought I wouldn't get much from it because I thought it would just be rope-work and I have a deep climbing background, but I learned a lot. . .and unfortunately I've had a lot of occasions to use it, too, mostly not on class V water either. Any river/creek with terminal hydraulics, pin rocks, and strainers is applicable.

From what I've heard, the thing that separates a course like Mike's from the rest is that it's geared more towards kayaking and it covers fast, quick techniques that save lives.

One major thing that I don't think can be stressed enough is how fast things happen and ways to make good decisions when dealing with that. Furthermore, my memory is fuzzy here, but I don't recall a lot of conversation in my class about things to cover with the group before putting on the water (hand signals, escape points/evac plan, who's carrying what gear, etc.). More information from expert boaters about attack plans would be useful to the community. AW has some good articles on occasion (Tim Kelly, Charlie Walbridge) and on colorado kayaking dot com Nick Wigston wrote a really good article about a year ago, too.

That said, I'd like to take a course from Mike before the season starts. Mike, if you're out there, are you scheduling anything already for this spring? Can you PM me if so?
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Old 01-06-2007   #8
Ski Patrol
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 25
Class V Swiftwater Rescue

Expediciones Chile does Swiftwater Rescue Class every year before the kayak and raft season starts on the Rio Futaleufu in Patagonia, Chile. The class is often as extreme as the river. Two years ago participants took part in an actual search and rescue that sadly ended in a body recovery. The class is specifically designed for Class V whitewater and rescue scenarios in extreme conditions. You can find out more about this here:
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Old 01-06-2007   #9
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
Yeah, another plug for Mike Mather. I organized a safety /rescue class in SoCal this fall (only time when folks woudl stop boating for a weekend and take a class.) Everybody really liked it. (I was out with a busted hand.)
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Old 01-06-2007   #10
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 847
Send a message via MSN to hobie
Mike Mather is the same person that will do our DSI class. He is by far the best I have ever seen. Exactly why I picked him.


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